Next-generation Nissan Z development mule

The next Nissan Z model has been tipped to bear the name 400Z, according to an Autocar report, and it will finally replace the 370Z that made its debut over a decade ago in 2009. As suggested previously, this new two-door will likely use a 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 engine that could be sourced from the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Red Sport, and the report notes that the Infiniti platform is a likely candidate for the 400Z as well.

The Japanese automaker recently filed trademarks for a new ‘Z’ logo as well as for a new, two-dimensional logo for the brand, the former appearing to recall the style employed on previous Nissan Z models such as the 240Z, then later on the 260Z and 280Z. This would be in line with the ‘heritage-inspired’ design that the next Z has been reported to adopt.

Higher performance versions of the sports car will surely follow, and a possible range-topping Nismo version of the 400Z could boast of up to 500 hp, Autoblog previously reported its sources as saying. Though its aesthetic is said to be ‘heritage-inspired’, the cabin of the 400Z is expected to be thoroughly modern with the latest in Nissan’s interior and infotainment technologies, and digital instrumentation is likely to feature.

2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition

Nissan has in fact produced a 370Z with a 3.0 litre, twin-turbocharged V6 engine before as a concept for the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas. Known as Project Clubsport 23, the one-off build employed a VR30DDTT powerplant in place of the original VQ37VHR naturally aspirated mill, and the turbocharged engine made in the region of 400 hp; this was paired with a six-speed manual and a limited-slip rear differential.

The same engine produces 400hp and 475 Nm of torque in the Q60 Red Sport, which is available in RWD and AWD layouts. The Q60 Red Sport in all-wheel-drive guise does the 0-100 km/h sprint in five seconds, says Autocar, and while the 400Z however is expected to remain rear-wheel-drive, the Z model is expected to be the quicker car due to lower weight; both manual and automatic gearboxes are expected for the 400Z.

No firm date has been revealed for the debut of the 400Z, according to Autocar, with an unveiling said to take place within 12 months. While sources at first suggested that a launch could take place this year, the Covid-19 pandemic could see this pushed to 2021.

SPYSHOTS: Nissan 370Z development mule